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Poster: ringolevio Date: Sep 16, 2010 6:22pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

I have 2 questions so I guess I will start 2 threads.

First: What would Pigpen have eventually done, musically, if he had lived? Opinions? What did we miss/lose when Pigpen died? (With the Dead or elsewhere.)

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Poster: William Tell Date: Sep 16, 2010 7:57pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

He would've NEVER have let Bob stop dressing as a cowboy and start dressing as an aging hippy with hints of geeky upper middle class laissezfaire overtones.

Seriously, I have no clue. I do think that if it actually went the way HE wanted it to, perhaps there wouldn't have been the latter day suites? IE, B4Al, Terr, mayhaps? Dunno...that suggests those were different than the early era ones. I also don't think he'd have let Donna sing.

These are clearly just my biases being manifested via the burly WTF attitude of PP (ie, I assume he'd take care of the problems I saw with the band). Convenient, eh? So, recognizing that's about all I am good for in this thread, I'll shut up...

Sorry!

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Poster: Purple Gel Date: Sep 17, 2010 9:07am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

"I also don't think he'd have let Donna sing."

If memory serves, he did "let" Donna sing. Wasn't he still alive and somewhat active when she joined the band?

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Poster: user unknown Date: Sep 16, 2010 8:12pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

"He would've NEVER have let Bob stop dressing as a cowboy and start dressing as an aging hippy with hints of geeky upper middle class laissezfaire overtones."

Agreed. If PP was around when Bobby showed up in daisy dukes and a pink polo, he'd have gotten his ass kicked(or worse)

"Seriously, I have no clue."

+1, but clueless is a fairly normal state for me theses days

"I also don't think he'd have let Donna sing."

I disagree. He would've recognized Donna's talent and encouraged her to sing. He would, however, NOT let her sing with Bobby.

"I'll shut up..."

Me too.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 16, 2010 8:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

There's some debate, actually, about how Pigpen would've fit into the Dead as the years went by... It's a little hard to imagine him in a 1973 show! Let alone on Blues for Allah... I think he would've found a place in the set, just maybe a smaller one. (And think of this - we were spared Lovelight duets with Donna! Oh the screeches we missed!)

I think we would've seen more original Pigpen songs rather than the same ol' blues covers. He had several promising new songs in '71/72, from rockers to ballads, so he could've kept going in that direction.
No Tomorrow: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2R03IDGo3E

I'm not sure he would've had a career outside the Dead. He was working on his own album at some point, but of course didn't finish. (There's an interesting country-style outtake circulating from 1970 called I'm a Loving Man.) Unlike other members of the Dead, I can't recall him playing (or singing) with other groups at all - he was pretty much defined by the Dead, and they were his only forum.
People talk about Garcia burning himself out on multiple Dead tours in the '90s, but remember Pigpen was doing the same thing in '71/72; he just wouldn't leave the stage til he was too weak to tour. Could've been sitting at home like Mickey Hart; but the Dead was his life.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Sep 16, 2010 9:06pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Do you know when the effects of his drinking first began to make him ill ?
Is it me , or are there some large gaps in the official GD narrative about Pig in the last years of his life ?

edit - Pig is core GD to me . A sad and tragic man it seems .


This post was modified by micah6vs8 on 2010-09-17 04:06:35

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 16, 2010 9:21pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

1971 is when he first became really ill & had to stay in the hospital a while. Came as a big surprise to the others.
I would imagine he'd been showing some signs of decline before that...maybe well before that... But the GD family was probably not a group where you'd find too many voices of concern for someone's downhill slide. Part of the macho rock star thing, you know...

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Sep 17, 2010 6:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

thanks for all the info - it's interesting you say he'd have found a smaller place in the set, since so many people wish his influence had been more dominant.

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Poster: Reade Date: Sep 18, 2010 9:14am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Speaking of Hart sitting at home during his early-70's leave-of-absence, and gaps in the GD narrative, is there any kind of interview or piece of research that definitively addresses this?
All I ever run across are loose, warmed over interpretations and recollections, and never from Hart himself. (For example McNally's book was a disappointment given this topic imo).
If what I'm talking about is out there and I've just missed it, I sure would love to be pointed in that direction.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 18, 2010 11:10am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

I've never looked up what Hart was doing, actually...never even read any memoirs from him. I'm sure the info's out there. His activities in those years probably are mentioned in McNally, it's just that McNally's book is so cluttered & disorganized & frequently vague, finding specific info is often hard!

Anyway, I'd guess Hart was still doing musical things, recording his own projects. The GD were recording some things with him still; he just wasn't playing shows with them.

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Poster: Reade Date: Sep 18, 2010 11:51am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Right. I know he was active in his barn-studio and such.
I just think it has never been formidably established why he left and in such an unusual way (one show into an east coast string of performances). Did something happen on that day? Was there difficulty with other parts of his life? I read once that he bolted and went to his parents house on Long Island and 'slept for a week.' But it's not like the band had been on an exhausting run of touring. They had had a characteristiclly light beginnig-of-the-calender-year performing schedule leading up to that run of greater NYC shows starting on 2/18/71.

I just don't understand why someone with access to band members hasn't (form what I can tell) ever sat down with the guy for ten minutes and discussed the issue. Especially people writing books about the band.
Who walks away from such a successful gig to spend years with little or nothing to show for it? (I know, I know, I'm sure there are example out there). But the fact of the matter is, like actors, most musicians spend their careers WISHING they could be involved in something so successful and meaningful.
Guys who up and walk away from such- that's interesting!
Somebody should ask him about it.

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Poster: leftwinger57 Date: Sep 18, 2010 3:50pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

after reading Phil's book it appears he felt so badly
that his father ripped off the band that he just had to walk out.

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Poster: light into ashes Date: Sep 18, 2010 6:00pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Oh yeah, why he left... Yes, that's been covered pretty much everywhere.
What interests me is the delayed reaction on Mickey's part... His dad stole their funds and bolted in Feb/March '70, but Mickey soldiered on til Feb '71, when the guilt suddenly became too much for him... So maybe there was a hidden second reason to leave that came up.
(Once Bill K was asked why Mickey left, and Bill just said there were complicated personal reasons and wouldn't discuss them, which seemed to me like maybe there was something else going on too, considering Lenny's a matter of public record.)

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Poster: Reade Date: Sep 19, 2010 6:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Exactly. It was the perhaps 'hidden second reason' I was groping for here.
I'm not sure you play the first of several consecutive Capitol Theatre gigs on 2/18... *then* bolt for Long Island ...'cause of something your Dad did a *year* earlier. Nor do you necessarilly need to sleep for a week as a result, etc. etc.

He refers to himself as 'unbalanced' at that time in the quote excerpted below from his Drumming on the Edge book, and that he was doing an 'atonement' while away. Add to this mix your Bill K anecdote (and interpretation of same) ... and I think I found what I was looking for. Or at least as much as is out there. Thank you.

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 19, 2010 7:39am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

"We'll probably never know the true extent of the psychic damage Lenny's grand larceny had on his son, but it's probably not a coincidence that at the end of 1970 Mickey dropped out of the group for the next five years. 'Mickey was dismayed,' Garcia said. 'He's never expected anything like that, of course. He knew his father had been into shady trips before, but he thought he was reformed just like we all did. He was really shocked, and he was right with us about our decision to get rid of Lenny.'

"In retrospect, it's remarkable the Dead could keep their minds on playing music during this weird time, but as Mickey himself pointed out, the band's business problems were a distraction, 'only when we came off the road. Not when we were out there, certainly, because we were flyin'. When the music's going, all is well. When the music stops and you come home, that's when art meets reality.'"

Blair Jackson - Garcia: An American Life

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Sep 18, 2010 12:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

It HAS been written about, in a number of books including both McNally's and Scully's, among others.

It's pretty obvious as well, why Hart left the band! He was wracked with guilt and embarrassment about what his dad did...

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Poster: Reade Date: Sep 18, 2010 12:37pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Has he ever said as much?

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Poster: robthewordsmith Date: Sep 18, 2010 1:10pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

"I didn't want to play, didn't want to go out on the road. Confused, unbalanced, I wanted to flee and hide, bury my head and cry. I stopped touring with the Grateful Dead in 1971 and went to ground at the Barn. ...

"The band didn't blame me for Lenny's thievery, they made that clear. They even kept paying me, treating my departure as a leave of absence that would end whenever I managed to pin to the ground the demons I was wrestling. Whenever I was ready I was welcome back.

"Three years would pass. Looking back it was like an atonement. having spent three years going deeper into volume and noise, I was now sentenced to three years of silence and noise - the noise of insects singing in the garden at night, the trees creaking in the wind. ...

"The heartbeat of the ranch was the pump - the gurgling throb of water... The longer I lived at the ranch the more I became attuned to the pump's song... In fact, one of my first attempt's at musical composition was a song built around the rhythm of the pump; it later received the title. 'The Greatest Story Ever Told'."

Mickey Hart, Drumming at the Edge of Magic

This post was modified by robthewordsmith on 2010-09-18 20:10:57

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Poster: advokat Date: Sep 18, 2010 1:15pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Hijack to wordsmith

http://www.archive.org/post/323185/sandinista-non-dead

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Poster: Reade Date: Sep 18, 2010 1:32pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Thank you. Never ran across that book.
EDIT: Or that article!

This post was modified by Reade on 2010-09-18 20:32:00

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Poster: advokat Date: Sep 18, 2010 1:08pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

http://www.dead.net/sites/deadbeta.rhino.com/files/images/19710902_0717.jpg

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Sep 17, 2010 2:59pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

As the GD moved towards jazz in the WOS era, his role would have certainly diminished, especially for the second set stuff. Overall, I hope he would have had more time to make those new songs in '71/'72 work for him... but the takes we have aren't particularly thrilling for these ears.

That considered, I would still have enjoyed seeing him on his own, backed by a wailing blues band, singing his favorite R&B and Blues tunes in small clubs. Now that would have been something!

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Poster: Jim F Date: Sep 18, 2010 2:52am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

I dunno, he did some great work on what many could say was one of the highest peaks of their career, Europe 72. By then they were already the Country/Western, straight ahead Rock and Blues, and Jazz band that dominated the next couple of years. You might say his input was even more apparent than 1969, where he was relegated to congas most the time. Alternately, 1971 would have really sucked without him around, when he was around anyway. Although, the change from his final shows in 1971 until he returned in December was one of the most drastic changes the band ever saw, perhaps the most drastic change.

I dunno, when I listen to stuff like his Caution from 4/8/72, Good Lovin from 4/14/72, the Lovelight from 4/26/72, and the Caution from 5/11/72 (let alone "his" shorter songs), I feel like he fit in just fine. And if you really listen, in there you'll find that he did some really nice, if not quietly hidden away, organ work on that tour.

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Poster: Cliff Hucker Date: Sep 18, 2010 5:43am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

"And if you really listen, in there you'll find that he did some really nice, if not quietly hidden away, organ work on that tour."

I couldnt agree with that more. And perhaps no finer example than his gorgeous interplay with Keith during the Morning Dew from Muenchen...

http://www.archive.org/details/gd1972-05-18.sbd.miller.79057.sbeok.flac16

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Poster: Dudley Dead Date: Sep 17, 2010 7:31am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Like almost all 60's guys he would have not been the same guy his was in his prime . Would he become a mature blues singer like the later day Muddy Waters ? Even a weak PIg would have been better in those blues songs , or 'Good Loving' than Bob . In fact, the most interesting thing, is to imagine how his still being in the band would have altered things . Weir would not have tried to fill Pig's showman, bluesman shoes , would he have stayed more into the country thing ?
Maybe they would not have become so 'jazzy" in the 73-75 period . I would be hard to see him being as open to the "disco Dead" stuff, but you never know , most 60's figures did NOT improve with age . Who would have thought that the band that brought you 'White Rabbit' , would evolve into the band that brought you 'We Built This City' .
There are plenty an artists who's reputation would have benefited from a "strategic plane crash"...

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Poster: ringolevio Date: Sep 17, 2010 8:01am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Ouch, sad but probably true.

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Poster: AltheaRose Date: Sep 16, 2010 8:19pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

Well, we'd have missed Tons of Steel.

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Poster: WillCo Date: Sep 17, 2010 2:39pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

I always hated Tons of Steel, too.

By the way, did anyone else buy the cassette version of In The Dark? It included My Brother Esau (fine by me), and - best of all - if you flipped the cassette after MBE finished, side 2 would start at the beginning of West LA Fadeaway. i.e. TOS could be skipped every single time.

After the disappointment of Shakedown Street, Go To Heaven (and dare I add Terrapin?) that album was a real joy. Too bad about Built To Last, though.

Sigh.

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Sep 17, 2010 8:16am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

best thing that ever happened to GD (i do lament the loss of a life though)

extremely overrated blues singer, or singer in general. he may have been a "showman" (never saw him live, so i cant comment other than that) - but his singing and instrumental ability left MUCH to be desired.

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Poster: micah6vs8 Date: Sep 17, 2010 8:28am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

I thought the 502 Bad Gateway post would draw you out . Straight ahead GD posts ? The game is changing underneath my feet .
A nip to the air , dire .

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Sep 17, 2010 8:47am
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

yeah - what is up with the random bad gateway errors?? tried to reply to one of your posts a couple of days ago and had to give up.

and, just for your information Mr. Smartypants, i DO occasionally make GD related posts

;)

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Poster: snori Date: Sep 17, 2010 12:01pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

The aspect that interests me is how GD would have been if he hadn't declined and died. I can see him fitting in OK in the first sets, and consequently there would have been less C & W songs, but would he have sat out the second sets of late '73 and '74 with the extended jams and segues ?

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Poster: direwolf0701 Date: Sep 17, 2010 12:35pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

judging from some of his highly repetitive and annoying keyboard work on some early, otherwise jawdropping, dark stars, I would hope the rest of the band would have tied his hands behind his back with razor wire had he been around for some of the '73-'74 jamming.

:)

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Poster: deadpolitics Date: Sep 17, 2010 2:56pm
Forum: GratefulDead Subject: Re: Pigpen's would-have-been later career

he wasn't much into spacing or jazzing out but i tend to like his b3 skills on the more bluesy stuff like VLB and TOO from early '68. i think he added some great stuff to NPC as well...

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